Montepulciano D’Abruzzo DOC

I didn’t really expect to encounter a reasonable wine offering in the depths of a Puerto Vallarta all-inclusive…but that happened in the Andrea restaurant of the Velas Vallarta resort. Who would think it…I asked for a Chianti but no luck, however a “similar” wine was offered to me…turns out it was a Montepulciano D’Abruzzo DOC from Italy.

I love the myriad of grapes grown in Italy, each with their own historical context… the Montepulciano grape likely originated in Tuscany and may be related to the Sangiovese (I love this grape), with which it is often confused. Despite this possible origin, the Montepulciano grape still does not seem to have any tangible connection to the town of that name…so, despite grapes widely planted throughout central Italy, the Montepulciano grape is not grown in the vineyards around the actual town of Montepulciano. After Sangiovese, Montepulciano is Italy’s second most widely dispersed  grape variety.

The Montepulciano D’Abruzzo DOC wine should not be confused with the similarly named Tuscan wine Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, which is made from predominantly Sangiovese and is named for the town it is produced in, rather than for containing any Montepulciano grapes in the blend.

The grape is widely planted throughout central and southern Italy, most notably in Abruzzo, Lazio, Marche, Molise, Umbria and Apulia, and is a permitted variety in DOC wines produced in 20 of Italy’s 95 provinces. Montepulciano is rarely found in northern Italy because the grape has a tendency to ripen late and can be excessively “green” if harvested too early. When fully ripened, Montepulciano can produce deeply colored wines. I fully enjoyed our Montepulciano D’Abruzzo within the oddest of holiday constructs…not at the top end of Montepulciano wines but so enjoyable! 😊